No Strings Attached (2011)

Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher star in 'No Strings Attached', a romantic comedy about two young people agreeing be each other's sex buddy, with only one rule. No real commitment allowed. Portman plays Emma, a medical resident and Kutcher plays a fun loving all-around good guy. One thing about this movie got right was casting the part for Kutcher and Portman. They really seemed believable for the roles they were portraying.
From the start, you can tell that the no strings attached business really wasn't going to work out well between the two characters. Kutcher character was clearly falling for Portman from the start. And you just got a sense that she just didn't feel he was good enough for her. Overall, 'No Strings Attached' has all the elements of a good romantic comedy, but doesn't really bring anything extra to make it great.

Metascore- 50/100
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics-48%, Audience- 59%
Yong's Rating- 2.5/5 Stars


Hereafter (2010)

As the title suggests, 'Hereafter' deals with the theme of afterlife. I usually love movies with this type of fantasy theme, so naturally I was excited to check out this movie. Plus Clint Eastwood directed it and Matt Damon is a bad ass, so it can't be that bad, right?
'Hereafter' follows the lives of three main characters and the way in which death has affected each one of them. After a near death experience as a child, George (Matt Damon) develops a special gift/curse which allows him to communicate with people in the afterlife. He spends most of his life using his power to do readings for people longing to talk to lost loved ones. However, his ability becomes too much of a burden for him to handle. Wanting to live a normal life, he choses a reclusive lifestyle in order to escape from his past. Marie( Cecile De France) is a French reporter who experiences a near death experience and has an out of the body experience. When she is brought back to life, the haunting images of her experience of afterlife is too much to forget. She becomes obsessed with the concept of afterlife. The third storyline revolves around two young twin boys. When one of the brother suffers a terrible accident and dies, the remaining bother goes on a search to find ways to communicate with his dead brother.
Overall, I was not too impressed by this movie. I'm not saying this movie is terrible, it just didn't grab my attention. It is a well thought out movie with coherent story lines, but I just couldn't get into the movie. I found myself getting bored, maybe because the storyline is very easy to predict. That's just never a good sign. So, here's my warning, watching this movie may bore you to death. See what I did there. Boom.

Metascore- 56/100
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 46%, Audience-41%
Yong's Rating- 2/5 Stars


The Hangover Part 2 (2011)

"It happened again...", these are the opening lines of 'The Hangover Part 2' spoken by Phil. And there's just about the perfect way to describe the sequel to the massively successful 'Hangover'. The Wolfpack is reunited for Stu the dentist's (Ed Helms) wedding. Stu, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha), and even Alan (Zach Galifianakis) are all back for some more raunchy fun. This time, the gang is far away from Vegas. They are in Thailand and due to Stu's wishes skipped a bachelor party. However, when the gang find themselves awake in a cheap Bangkok hotel room without any memory of the previous night, they quickly realize that it has happened again. If you loved the first Hangover, then I'm sure you'll enjoy this one as well. Here's just a quick summary. Switch Las Vegas with Bangkok, the baby with a monkey, Doug (Bartha) with Stu's brother in law.
When the gang find themselves awake without Stu's brother in law Teddy, the guys must search for clues to find Teddy and get back to the wedding on time. As they retrace their steps, you get to find out about the crazy night shared by the gang. And trust me, it's much crazier than the night they had in Vegas. I found the plot a bit predictable, but there are definitely funny parts and it will sure make you laugh and even gasp at times. Just remember that it is rated R for a reason and if you aren't comfortable with this type of movie just stay away.

Rotten Tomatoes- Critics-35% Audience-95%
Yong's Rating- 3/5 stars

Midnight in Paris (2011)

'Midnight in Paris' is the latest Woody Allen flick featuring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams. This may be one of his most commercially successful film in years. Mr. Allen continues his recent trend of filming away from his home base in New York City. Set in Paris, 'Midnight in Paris' starts with a gorgeous ode to the beauty of the romantic city. Woody Allen just has a way of making any city a part of his cast of characters. You could definitely see the love affair he has with Paris, it almost felt like he was cheating on New York City.
Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams play a newly engaged couple away on a vacation in Paris. Gil (Wilson) is infatuated with the city and has fantasies of moving to the city and writing. His fiancé is set on living the suburban life in Hollywood and doesn't understand what is so great about Paris. Gil is a romantic who longs for the simpler times of the past and wishes he was born in a different era. He is in love with the 1920's and walking around the city in rain. When Gil wonders off one night to just walk the beautiful city and clear his mind, a little loss of sense of direction leads to a life changing adventure. Without giving away too much of the storyline, 'Midnight in Paris' mixes in elements of fantasy and romance that is sure to delight and seduce the viewers. It was reminiscent of 'Purple Rose of Cairo' and to some degree 'Stardust Memories'. I believe this is one of his better movies in recent years. Owen Wilson played the 'Woody Allen character' very well and seemed like a natural for the part.
I found myself enjoying this movie very much. I couldn't help smiling the whole way through. I just loved how beautiful the city looked on the screen as well as the performances of the wonderful cast. It is a terrific mixture of charm, fantasy, romance, and comedy. Go see for yourself.

Metascore- 81/100
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics-92%, Audience-77%
Yong's Rating- 4/5 stars